IMPACTING OUR CULTURE

As
a pastor or leader don’t you want to impact your community?  Don’t you want to have the greatest
impact that you can? I’ve discovered that to do that we need to be committed to
reaching our local community first. As a pastor God has called me to pastor a
local church and although we want to reach the world it begins with where we
are.

Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you
will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the
ends of the earth."

Jesus
gives the disciples His plan. 

1.
That they would receive power from the Holy Spirit,

2.
That they would be witnesses

3.
And that they would begin in Jerusalem. 
That’s where they lived.

We
must be committed to reaching our local community.  We are a local church. God has called us to be missionaries
right here in our community. God help us to be the light in a dark world.  Help us to bring hope to the hopeless
and present a life-giving relationship with Jesus to a religious culture. Give
us the boldness to reach out in practical ways.

Here’s
a question I’ve been wrestling with…

WHAT
IMPACT WOULD OUR COMMUNITY FEEL IF OUR CHURCH DIDN’T EXIST?

Would
it just mean that there wouldn’t be church services in our facility on the
weekends? Or would our community, those who don’t even attend our church, feel
like there was something missing in our community? The true measuring stick of
our impact is not what happens inside our building but what is happening in the
lives of the people that are outside of our church.

We
need to remember that WE ARE ALL MISSIONARIES. Every believer should see
themselves as a missionary that is impacting their culture with the gospel of
Jesus!

This
is the first in a series of blog posts that I will share my heart and thoughts
about how we can most effectively impact our culture.  Here’s the first one…

WE MUST IDENTIFY THE CULTURE

Missionaries
are trained to identify the culture in order to reach a people group.  The same is true for us. Here are a
couple of things you can do to identify your culture:

1.
Take some time to write down how you would describe the culture of where you
live.

Our
staff did this recently and here are a few things that they listed…

We
love to eat East Carolina BBQ, red hot dogs, and Bojangles. We love America and
are somewhat conservative politically. We love festivals and waving the
American flag. Mostly young families. 
ACC Basketball is very popular, rapidly growing area.

2.
Then next do some research and find out the most recent demographic of your
community. 

Here
are a few things we discovered about the Cleveland Community and Johnston
County, NC the following.

Population
is 165,000 in Johnston County

2.6
people per household

Median
household income $60,000

82%
white

76%
high school graduates

16%
Bachelor degree or higher

If
we want to impact our culture we can’t skip over this step of identifying the
culture that we are trying to reach. 
Let’s take some time to pray and ask God to help us identify our culture
so that we can have the greatest impact on the lives around us.  

  • Christian

    Strong Pastor, really makes you think of who we reach and how we reach them. Thanks for being real on this issue.

  • Chris Haase

    You nailed it. 2/3 of God’s name is GO. We need to GO into our community and make a difference. Staying inside our four walls at church is not the reason God sacrificed his son. As we learned over the last few weeks, it’s is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. Freedom to GO into our community and be bold. John 10:10 tells us Jesus came so we can have life to the abundance, another words, mediocrity is not acceptable. Let’s roll.

  • Kim Beasley

    Thank you, Pastor Matt….wow, what would our community be like w/o C3? Could we/they feel something missing? That’s something to think about. ALSO….one very important statistic not talked about is our high unemployment rate in the state & Johnston County. Remember, too, that the unemployment percentages don’t include self-employeed folks, which is a large part of our community. Half the “middle class” here are now poor and not working.